WEEHAWKEN, N.J. (WWLP) - Looking across the Hudson River from New Jersey, the Manhattan skyline is back to normal. Yet it's still lights out for thousands of residents of nearby Staten Island and Long Island.
Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit the New York area, many are still relying on the Red Cross for help.
On Thursday, 22News traveled with the volunteers from the Pioneer Valley Chapter to Long Island to find out how your donations are being spent.
"People are looking for clothes, they're looking for blankets, they're looking for batteries, because many people in this area still don't have power today," volunteer Elen Patashnick of Springfield said.
But with thousands still without power on Long Island and Staten Island, the frustration is growing.
"It's just bad, it sucks," Carmelo Guerico of Long Beach, Long Island said. "We're still without power, it's two weeks exactly."
"The breakers have to be changed, we don't have any heat, the boilers have to be changed, and I heard there was a big shortage of boilers up and down the East Coast, so I don't expect to get that anytime really soon," Herb Doer of Long Beach said.
President Barack Obama was on the ground Thursday talking to storm victims. He said the federal government would not forget the region, and will see the recovery through.
But some who lost their homes and loved ones still question where the help was immediately after the storm: a criticism the Red Cross understands.
"We faced some of the same obstacles that other people faced: unsafe travel situations, gas rationing, and things of that nature, but the important thing is we are here now," said Dawn Leeks of the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.
So far, the Red Cross has raised about $140 million toward Sandy relief efforts. They've only spent about $40 million so far, and if any is left over after they meet the basic needs of these victims, that money will go toward long-term recovery efforts.
On 22News Starting at 5, we'll travel again with members of the Pioneer Valley Red Cross as they go to areas of New Jersey that were hit hard by Sandy.